Monday, December 11, 2017


David Hockney, Pool with Two Figures
A splashy new exhibit of American artist, David Hockney's California sojourn warms the heart on even the coldest days.  No bathing suit required, but inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can vicariously jump into the pool surrounded by the the blazing sun-drenched colors of a never ending Los Angeles summer. Hockey's majestic larger-than-life paintings, invite you to join the swimmers and voyeurs on a halcyon day of dazzling sun-lit colors. California was his muse and helped to make him a famous swimming pool artist, but Hockney's oeuvre was more complex, more diversified, more intriguing. These paintings are not the entire focus of the exhibit, but they do provide insight into Hockney's willingness to flaunt conventions and to brazenly reference homoerotic subject matter.  Pool with Two Figures, one person gazes at a figure floating underneath the water.
       Many fine examples of Hockney's work from Los Angeles, California in he late 1960s and early 1970s as well as his double portraits from New York and London, show the artist's interest in the tension that exists in social relationships and the difficulty of depicting transparent material such as glass and water.   

David Hockney, GARDEN, 2015, 48 x 72 inches

 For nearly 60 years, David Hockney (British, born 1937) has pursued a singular career with a love for painting and its intrinsic challenges.  A major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the shows only North American venue, through February 25, 2018, honors the artist in the year of his 80th birthday by presenting his most iconic works and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present. GARDEN, 2015, for example, draws you across a garden on a magical red pathway to Blue happiness. 
     The exhibition, DAVID HOCKNEY, takes time to savor as it offers a grand overview of the artist's achievements across all media, including painting and drawing, photography, and video. Working in a wide range of media with equal measures of wit and intelligence, Hockney, has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions. From his early engagement with modernist abstraction and mid-career experiments with illusion and realism, to his most recent, jewel-toned landscapes, Hockney has consistently explored the nature of perception and representation with both intellectual vigor and sheer delight in the act of looking. For example, the painting, Garden with Blue Terrace, defies the laws of perspective by seeming to advance and recede at the same time.
David Hockney, Garden with Blue Terrace, 2015
By the late 1970s and 1980s, Hockney turned to a brightly hued palette and fractured, cubistic perspective that mirrors both is interest in Pablo Picasso and his own experiments with Polaroid photography. In recent decades Hockney has ventured outdoors to paint the changeable landscapes of his native Yorkshire across the seasons, while simultaneously returning to the study of figures in social groupings. A modernist seeker, keenly interested in scientific innovations in the aid of art, Hockney recently experimented with an old technology: he created a series of portrait drawings using a camera Lucida, first employed by artists in the Renaissance to render one-point perspective. He has always embraced new technologies, including the possibilities for colorful composition offered by applications on the iPhone and iPad. Examples of the artist's experiments in that media are also included in the galleries.

      Related Programs: On Monday February 5 acclaimed stage and screen actors Alan Cumming and Simon Callow will perform a dramatic reading in The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy. Inspired by Hockney's 1968 portrait of the pair, the actors will recreate the painting and bring an extraordinary relationship to life. Tickets for this program as well as others scheduled are available on the website.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  I'm feeling ever so much better drenched in Hockney's brilliant colors of a never-ending summer day. You should, too. Fan mail welcome, Visit Polly's Blogs at and in the left-hand column click on the direct links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry from the heart.

Monday, December 4, 2017


Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol 1843 Mr. Fezziwig's Ball
Christmas would never be as memorable without revisiting the iconic holiday book, Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol."          It bespeaks of the author's condemnation of the individuals who failed to ameliorate human wretchedness when they had an opportunity to do so, a warning so applicable even today.
      Charles Dickens penned one of the most memorable, beloved holiday stories of all time and legions of people have read and re-read the book. Mixing real life inspirations with his vivid imagination he conjured up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the merry celebration we know today.  It never fails as a holiday classic and the treasure trove of the hand-written manuscript pages and other intriguing memorabilia from Dickens's lecture circuit provides a rare opportunity to view them all at The Morgan Library and Museum's exhibit, CHARLES DICKENS and THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS, which runs through January 14, 2018. (Image: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) A Christmas Carol, London, Chapman & Hall, 1843. Illustration by John Leech depicting Mr. Fezziwig's Ball. The Morgan Library & Museum) The exhibition explores the genesis, composition, publication and reception of A Christmas Carol and its impact on Charles Dickens's life. The manuscripts of four other Christmas books are also on display.
      Every holiday season, the Morgan displays Charles Dickens's original manuscript of
A Christmas Carol in Pierpont Morgan's historic library. It is interesting to note that Dickens wrote his iconic tale in a six-week flurry of activity beginning in October 1843 and ending in time for Christmas publication. I will not take time to recount the story here, except to say that as a young  girl, one of the most chilling in the entire ghost story is Marley's ghost that drifts "out upon the bleak, dark night."      
PUBLIC PROGRAMS at the Morgan include,  A Gallery Talk, "Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas," given by Declan Kiely, Director of Exhibitions, and exhibition curator, on Friday, December 8 at 1pm.  Then, too, why not make it a day at the Morgan; the same day at 7pm and watch the film, A Christmas Carol (1951) The classic adaptation of Charles Dickens's beloved novel follows the stingy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge ( Alastair Sim) as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future in Victorian England. Purchase tickets at 212.685-0008, ext. 560 or
Dickens acquired the kind of celebrity in sync with international movie stars today. That status made him the darling of the lecture circuit for he never read from his books he had memorized that passages he wished to dramatize, and indeed he did, with stand up
renditions as equal to the talents of a matinee idol.  Wherever he traveled he took his custom designed podium pictured herewith.
       The exhibition marks the 150th anniversary of Dickens's famous reading tour of the United States in 1867, and examines his later career as a performer. His public readings of A Christmas Carol, which began in 1850s, played a pioneering role in what is now commonplace in the marketing of fiction, the author's book signing. It is surprising to learn that among the unexpected and unintended consequences of the success, of A Christmas Carol, was Dickens's decision to devote enormous energies to his public readings.
      The first ever trade edition of Charles Dickens's "own and only"  of his classic and beloved story, contains a facsimile of the original manuscript of A Christmas Carol, published in full color, with a foreword by Colm Toibin and introduction by Morgan curator Declan Kiely. Now available in the Morgan Shop.
Three Plagiarisms of Dickens's work 
PLAGIARISMS of DICKENS'S WORK  Oh yes, there were several. Housed in the Charles Dickens's Museum, London England are a handful of Dickens plagiarism. Some issues copy Dickens's text nearly word for word changing only minor spellings in name or title, while other use Dickens's characters and setting as template for their own writing much as we see in today's fan fiction. An example of three of Dickens plagiarism in the Morgan collection include: "Mister Humfries' Clock," "Posthumous Papers of the Cadgers' Club" and the play "The Peregrinations of Pickwick." These impostors were sold through tobacconists and small shops to reach "a market of semi-literate readers outside the range of middle-class booksellers. The enormous readership spelled out great financial success for the authorsThomas Peckett Prest and Edward Lloyd Prest encouraging the pair to publish The Penny Pickwicks for an additional ten months after Dickens had finished his original Pickwick Papers.
TA TA DARLINGS!!! I shall be revisiting A Christmas Carol this holiday as indeed I am sure you will want to do so yourself. Wishing you Happy Holidays and best wishes for a Very Happy and Healthy New Year 2018. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at and in the left hand column click on the link to women determined to succeed, visionary men, the fashion historian and poetry.